Reflecting Back to Mentorship: Six months under Guidance

 

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                                The world is changing relatively faster than expected. The growing market of job is competitive and full of talent, where failing once means losing your job. The professional life is tough already, and its graph is increasing day by day. There are hundreds of professional coming out yearly with honed skills, talents and world life exposure. You cannot be left behind bewildering other progress.

                          Traditionally, the best way to learn was to find better master and be his/her apprentice. The evolving education system changed everything developing systematic progress of student to professional life. That does not mean need of mentorship/apprenticeship is bygone things. Still mentorship is considered best way to sharpening skills before you fail or simply learning by others failure. Your life is too short to fail on every step and learn from failure.

                           I got chance to be part of WWF Nepal The Generation Green Mentorship Program Batch 2 under mentor Anil Chitrakar (Social Entrepreneur). Along with me six others participated on this journey of six months. The main idea was to work one various creative project related to environment conservation, renewable energy use, 3R principle, wildlife conservation, and other several creative solutions. As we came from different background of study, it was hard for us to manage time for meeting and finalize our idea.

                    We were lacking confidence even we had ideas in mind, that’s where mentor guided us. He showed us light beyond tunnel and believed in our ideas. Every idea will work if you have courage to pursue them. These words still echo my ear and motivate me daily. Instead of focusing on single idea we tried cluster of idea as we had limited time of 6 months, so our ending point of idea would be starting point for upcoming groups.

                                 The main objective of our project was to establish a culture with a system of recycling, reusing and reducing of waste (food, plastic, paper, rubber & water). The basic task was to help in the conversion of low – end input waste into high value output. We helped to facilitate and bridge gap between waste utilizing institutions by innovative alternatives to appropriate potential market by designing ergonomically viable products as such:

1. Reusing Rubber Tire by Giving Aesthetic Values for Parks, Schools and Communal area.

                       The tire has been real issue as it cannot be recycled (economically at low scale in country like Nepal) or reduced but can only be re-used. We had re-used tire by integrating them into environment. They were used as flower pots for large plants, swings in garden or home, decoration by giving colors. We identified certain schools formed Eco-Clubs or youth clubs with whom we worked so that the sustainability of the project will not be an issue if local young people will take care of it.

Figure. Tire Gardening at Shree Janajyoti Secondary School, Banepa 

Figure. Tire Gardening and Orientation at Sainik School, Pokhara 

Figure.  Tire Gardening and Orientation at Ratna Rajya School, Kathmandu

2. Advocated use of recycled Plastic Bags into Ropes or Fibers for Agricultural Support:

                        We helped to recycle/reuse plastic bags as rope and it was provided as sample to farmers. This was done through the re-use of plastic bags by making ropes or fibers from them. The ropes can be used for making various green house, support for vegetable growth, building birdcage, temporary shelter and even making fences. The high strength plastic rope and fibers will come in handy for farmers for daily use.

3. Encouraging institutions for Creative use of Paper:

                     Paper is widely used for various purposes like printing records, brochures and leaflets. Reduce use of paper, printing on both sides of paper and promotion of e-communication was encouraged. On joint collaboration with Women’s Dream Multipurpose Ltd we made pencil out of sample old newspaper and encouraged such initiatives from other organizations.

Figure. Training and Sample Old Newspaper Pencil, Kathmandu

 4. Rain Water Harvesting

                         Due to ongoing water crisis and larger number of family residing in small houses, it was very difficult to fulfill the water need in household use. So, being a researcher in watershed management, Mr. Laxman Shrestha had constructed a very simple yet a very effective way to use the rainwater. We conducted interview to share his noble idea for public use.

Figure. Mentees interviewing Mr. Laxman Shrestha about Rain Water Harvesting 

THE LESSONS

                         Indeed six months mentorship has been great journey of my life. We were able to work on ideas generated by us. We could see transformation on ourselves as well as we felt that our activities made some level of contribution and influence on society. We were lucky enough to travel various parts of Nepal. We made lifetime friends and created memory. Plus we learnt about professionalism, discipline, time management and respect of fellow team member.

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Figure. The TEAM (YOUTH FOR CHANGE NEPAL)

                  I would like to provide note of thanks for Mr. Anil Chitrakar (Mentor), Ms. Shikha Gurung (WWF Nepal) and Mr. Dipesh Gurung (ECCA Nepal). It was pleasure to work with you guys: Anisha Adhikari (MBA), Bina Kharel (MBA), Nabina Gurung (Developmental Study), Senha Shakya (Engineer + MBA), Subina Shrestha (Developmental Study) and Sunwi Maskey (Environmental Study). Cheers!!!

Figure. Team Member Briefing About Project Impacts and Progress

Figure. Closing of Program. Team Member with Amrit Gurung 

Media Coverage: We are glad our work was shared on online (Glocal Khabar) and print (MyRepublica) media. Please follow link for more information.

Glocal Khabar: Old Tire Gardening By Youth For Change Nepal 

My Republica:The Generation Green: Teaching youth about nature, conservation and more

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A walk to Remember: Journey to Listhikot VDC (Chang Ching Village)

                     Travel is one of best way to learn things and explore beyond comfort zone. The less travelled road, after major Earthquake Nepal 2015, left Araniko Highway connecting Kodari to Kathmandu sees fewer commuters. After postponing my trip to Listhikot VDC for several times due to roadblock, it was finally decided to pack bag and hit the highway. After 5 hours of bus ride from Old bus park of Kathmandu we reached Barabise around 5:30pm in evening. As heavy and daily rainfall had brought several landslides blocking road access to Listhikot. So we decided to pursue journey following day hoping roadblock will be clear next day.

                  Ironically there was heavy downpour last night, which completely ruined our plan to travel by bus. We planned to go via any vehicle to Nayapool and then hitchhike uphill to Chang Ching (a village among several village of Listhikot VDC). It was early morning so there was less chance of getting any vehicle, as vehicle plying had reduced significantly after closure of Lasha border. We asked lift for every passing vehicle finally our luck turned out, we got lift from a truck-carrying quarry for ongoing hydropower project at Chaku. (Middle Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project) After an hour journey we reached at Nayapool at 7:00 am. We passed through Nayapool, a spot for bungee jumping and other various adventurous activities hosted by The Last Resort.

                       The uphill journey through fallen houses, temporary shelter of people and terrible sheds for animal brought chill on us. It felt like no presence of any authority or government in vicinity. The uphill walk made us so exhausted we had to make several stops and we ran out of water, which made journey more arduous. The steep hill, heat of sun and lack of water made walk difficult. After 3 hours of walk we reached first house of uphill village. We asked for water, owner of house very generously provided clean water (filtered water) for drinking. He expressed his grievances after earthquake, the losses and tragedies he had to go through.

                 Personally I found him quite traumatic and his odd behavior expressed those fear and anxiety. He said still he couldn’t sleep inside his house at night so generally he prefers sleeping in open space at smooth surface in uphill area. There have been repeated landslides, fracturing of land mass and majority of water sprouts around village area have been dried up. We could witness his saying when we roamed around village.

                     After few minutes walk from his house we reached our final destination Chang Ching village. The main aim was to inspect community kitchen made in Buddhist Gumba for approval of budget from government as fellow traveller was appointed as Civil Engineer in charge for re construction and rehabilitation in Listhi VDC. The journey provided very insightful things, difficulties at grass root level and presence of resentment about state. It came to light people are affected more as there is no income as Lasha border is closed as working as seller or vendor and purchasing daily goods for livelihood. Now they do not have proper shelter to live in, jobs to work and are purchasing Indian goods at higher rate.

                   This journey made me realized ground reality of many Nepalese life from ground zero up.

Checking Emissions

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                                 Nepal imports all of its fossil fuel for transportation, Liquid Petroleum gas for cooking and hydrogen fuels for airplanes. The country is also heavily dependent on foreign country for procuring vehicles. There are various stages of emissions generated by vehicles by type of engine they are equipped with, so accordingly they are categorized for rural or urban use. The different countries have different types of emissions standard based on pollution generation and assimilation of same in particular environment. The petrol engine powered vehicles produce less smoke as diesel engine due to some extent of complete combustion.

                            Hulas Motors is sole automobile manufacturing house of Nepal enjoying monopoly in domestic markets. The hulas jeeps being used for off road transportation on rugged and rural terrain may not have significance of emissions as city counterpart do. But there should be certain standard employed to check emission. Mostly vehicles are imported form India, China and rarely few other countries. There are distinction on emission level on both countries. In India Bharat Stage I, II, III, IV, V are emission level attached with chassis of vehicles when they are manufactured. According to population and pollution level of city various stages vehicle are granted permission to operate. The green sticker on vehicle provide status after emission testing whether particular vehicle can run on city or not. The crowded capital city of India: Delhi has strict regulation for such. The use of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) , electric vehicles are on rise replacing fossil based transportation which is raising grim hope for cleaner & greener city.

                              There will be day once we will completely switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. But at one time giant step is not possible at any cost. The emission is not so much regulated in Nepal. The century old bus, trucks, cars, vans and others are plying on roads sputtering thick smoke and grunting sound. The mandatory green sticker has been game play for acquiring with corruption and connection. There is authority to regulate, look after implementation but they turn blind eye with excuses and blames. The challenges lies on both end of policy executer as well as users. The regulatory bodies should check, verify old vehicles. The replacement of such vehicles is to be done by clean energy powered vehicles. This will be gradual phase of replacing fossil fuel based vehicle once at a time.

                         This will take time but it is only viable solution in present context. There will be complete emission check when we replace all fossil fuel based vehicle with clean energy based. The introduction of e-rickshaw, Safa tempo, electric cars like Mahindra Reva, Tera scooters and many ;such are good gesture to indicate change is coming, slowly and progressively. The government should welcome such initiatives with right supportive policy framework. The conscious level of public is also increasing which will make such project more sustainable with visible impacts. This will help for generation of cleaner, greener and eco-friendly Nepal.

Photo Source: www.tandbmotors.com

Youth in Solid Waste Management : One day Empowerment Training

                           April 2 2016, Youths are slowing not only evolving as leaders of tomorrow but in various participatory level representing others like them or raising voice for self. The youths have greatest population in Nepal as compared to other children and old people. So there involvement is necessary in each and every level. Solid waste is no new topic in Nepal while millions of rupees are expended from central level to regular fee submitted to local waste mangers still problem of mismanagement continues. There is hierarchal problem from local to highest level authorities.

                           The Nepal Science Olympiad in association with SWMTSC & MoFALD and other organization conduct first kind of one day empowerment seminar on solid waste management targeting youth. As youth can change self the way they view life, and bring changes on perception on people’s life. They will not only change self behavior but will also act to bring changes in their house to society. The experts provided wonderful sessions with great interaction among audience. The major highlight of seminar are:

 Ice Breaker Documentary – Smoke

                                   The documentary entails growing concerns generated by increment of smoke. The negative impacts brought up by smoking cigarettes, burning hays, wastes of home, smoke from industry and factories and other source on human healths. The Maha Jodi were at best providing fun as well as wonderful message which was quite engaging to audience.

Introduction to Solid waste and its management

                                   The session explained about what is solid waste. What are the sources of air pollution? (waste burning, cooking, vehicles, brick klin). Types of pollutants: Gaseous and Particulate. Three types of participatory as such Interested on research of waste, Interested on Entrepreneurship development via waste, Interested on fulfilling responsibility in waste management. The various process of segregation of waste as biodegradable and non-biodegradable were discussed. Accordingly various ways for their management and changing into usable solution were provided. The importance of 3R was emphasized.

Solid Waste Management and Works done by SWMTSC & MoFALD

                        The sessions highlighted about less generation of waste. The works done by various municipalities for waste management was discussed. The various initiative taken by SWMTSC & MoFALD to combat waste and waste management was shared among audience. The use of various bins for composting, separation of waste for their end value generation kept all engaging in event.

Zero Waste Concept

                        The session talked about new approach of waste handling and resource management. The waste handling ways like dumping, centralized mixed waste composting, burning, landfilling was criticized for their inefficient waste handling ways.The 3E (Efficiency, Economy & Ethics) and 5R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair & Reject) were discussed in details. The initiative about clean Himalayas from Ladkha to Bhutan was provided.

Vermi – Composting

                         The session provided details about vermi composting. The use of various types of earthworm for composting was provided. The various process about vermi composting was provided along with in hand learning. The session was very fruitful as it provided impromptu ways for vermi composting.

My Learning

        I learned waste is not waste until it is wasted. There are very genius ways of generation of values of waste. Waste management can be encouraged as business. Not only government institutions but also private organization be part of waste management. Simple logic and creativity can bring alot of change waste management in home. The change has to start and it must be from self. I pledge for my active participation for waste management in home as well as my community.

                        Thank you Nepal Science Olympiad and SWMTSC & MoFALD for providing such wonderful opportunity to be in the event and learn a lot of things about solid waste and solid waste management.

Location: Pragya Bhawan, Kamaladi, Kathmandu

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For more information visit: Nepal Science Olympiad 

Pani Ghatta : A Grinding Machine

                       Water mill is one of the clean and appropriate technology for grinding at local level. The most of part of Nepal still remains far from electric grid connection. The rural electrification has been catch word just to remain safely in vaults of Planning commissions.. Nepal faces one of the longest hour of blackouts as energy crunch nation we are struggling with basic right to energy access. The geographical terrain, improper settlements of housing system, challenges of hindrances on scenic beauty and landscape as tourism being one of major attraction, losses on transmission lines might be counter acting such kinda of electrification initiative.

                       The appropriate technology is recognizing need of local people, meeting their aspirations and bringing them one step closer to energy access. There is flow of water from higher hills to lower plains. Here gravity does most of the work. The Kinetic energy of water can be directly used for generating energy. Traditionally we have been harnessing such energy through water mill. Still today lots of people in rural areas are highly dependent on traditional water mill for grinding all required household goods such as flour, rice, wheat, spices and also oil in some cases.

Working Mechanism:

                       The water from head of 20m or above is brought in open or closed conduit. Traditionally wooden blades are used as turbine on which water jets are strike upon, jets rotates the bigger wheel mounted on smaller wheel. There is continuos feed of grains in between grinds into finer particles.

A story form DhunKharkha, Kavre

                           The village has perennial source of water, water mill is located near river close to the source of water. The villagers have been using water mill for grinding their grains. It was happy to encounter old mother who was grinding her maize on mill. She was so delighted to use it, as it has reduced efforts and time that people used to devote for grinding in traditional way. She explained although she is weak and fragile, she can help her family in some way. The use of water mill popularly known as pani ghatta is free to use. The opening and closing is as simple with supplying and cutting off water supply to mill. She is happy and proud user of water mill.

                                 This is what appropriate and proper technology can transform rural life. Helps in bridging gap in energy and technology use.

Journey form Training to Trainer : As Light of Hope Continues

                           

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                      Energy has been one of the basic requirement of human beings. The traditional use of fossil fuel is gradually shifting with advent of cleaner and greener technology. And change in people perception and consciousness about climate impacts, global warming and green house effects. RAN (Robotics Association Nepal) is one of Nepal’s best institutions trying to promote technology for generating holistic relation between machine and human.

                             The #LIGHTOFHOPE is audacious project initiated by RAN with agenda to connect rural livelihood to basic energy use like lighting and charging system. The process is to connect rural and earthquake affected area to primary energy use. The deprivation of energy & energy crunch is not only hampering economic activities but education of students. So #lightofhope aims to bring back hope to people to re-start life. Everything is broken but there stands only hope that things will get better. #LightofHope tires to embolden resilience, empathy and provide strength to return to normal living for Nepalese people who are beyond electric grid connection.

                                The Shree Nawalpur Secondary School was place for solar training and distribution. The place being in vicinity of Melamchi, still lacked proper road and electric connection. The event was already planned and well arranged by local partner YUWA Nepal. Primary task was to train ninety student, equip them for repair & maintenance, and distribute 5W solar system with light and charging system. We could see curious, energetic and bold ninety students, school authority, local experts being in school. We were really glad despite public holiday of Saturday people were kind enough to show up. The main objective was to give introduction about renewable energy, detail about solar system, component of solar system, repair & maintenance and about how solar can good business opportunity.

                                      Personally there is great difference in being with the crowd and handling the crowd. Being in training helped me to learn and nurture self. I was always obliged and felt privileged to get such opportunities. This was time to pay back or simply spread good vibes for others. I tried as much as being basic about facts and in mean time holistic. The major point I was careful not to let voids between by talks and student listening. The sessions was quite interactive, reaching student asking them and they asking back their queries. I was able to reach their psyche to some extent inspire them to lead from grass root. It was amazing to teach, hear, learn and share among students. The latter solar as business opportunities was carried out by Binod Pangeni. This session was especially designed to promote business opportunities that can or comes with solar technology. The main idea behind this was to encourage student to find solution within country and to remind them there are possibilities as well as potentialities developing country and making money in Nepal.

                                                    The journey to and fro Sindhupalchowk was full of fun. It was great conversation with fellow travelers local resident Aunt who rose my curiosity about place, her experience after earthquake, how grateful she was to have young people like us helping them, the hardship they have been through, hope & resilience they had despite their homes were completely turned down, her future dream to rebuilt house. Thanks to volunteers from Australia and Germany for being here selflessly to be part of re-construction. It was great to catch up with you guys. Oh! Driver dai, your story and reasoning and loud music system made us inexhaustible throughout travel. It simply helped us to be cheerful. Many many thanks to Bikash Gurung dai for providing wonderful opportunity to actually go to different part and shade some knowledge I had. It was great to reach people in local level and empower them. #LightofHope continues for adding hope for rural livelihood and re-construction after earthquake, shading light raising people’s aspiration.

Cheers.

About Robotics Association Nepal.

Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN), is not-for-profit, non-governmental organization which is continuously working in the field of robotics and electronics automation since its establishment (2010). Each year we celebrate festival of art, science and technology “Yantra”. Robotics Association of Nepal has built a network of students RAN Representatives (RR).

“Jalbayu ka Kura”

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           “The world is dynamic.”, it was said by my environmental teacher in school which resonates in canvass of my memory since then. Sometime I ponder, Are we such dynamic? Are we so mad at changing world? Why we always look for development without its implication? Are we shameless & reckless in saving mother earth? Are we even serious about climate change? Only we are supposed to talk not act. The myriad of questioning, self satisfying answers and baseless hypothesis used to come in my mind. Education is change maker, I used to doubt on it. But after been educated, I am not only aware of burgeoning development across world but also consequences brought by them on nature as well human life. I am aware, I participate, I want change to come in thought and action. I want to see visible change not in future but also in present.

                  The climate change is most debated topic. Many believe it is happening and other argue that we are utilizing resources within earth, produce from earth so climate change is hoax. Its simply to let people remain in fear and benefit certain particular corporate sectors, INGO’s, NGO’s and environmentalist. There are always propaganda, conspiracy theories to distort facts and to left common people in bewilderment.Whatever may be side of coin, but change are visible and its happening rapidly then calculated rate. So Climate Change is happening, it can be felt and results are visible.

                          Climate change is not entirely anyone’s fault. But it will be everyone’s mis-happening if it is not abated soon enough. Many resources which are taken as granted by us will be history for forth coming generations. The developed nation, developing nation as well underdeveloped nation will be facing similar problem but mitigation may vary as richer will at least have chance to face it more, as of advanced technologies and facilities. The rapid population increment, depletion rate of fossil fuel & emission’s, haphazard industrial development, unmanaged urbanization, mismanagement of waste, negligence in developmental works, carbon mishandling and others. Lets not focus on problem, but concentrate on solution. The solution is commitment for change, to divert from current path to greener and innovative approaches of solving problems, clear ways of mitigation & adaptation based. There is no single solution to reduce climate change but mutual co-operation and goals are essential, no matter how much diverse nations of world might be in political system, geography, culture, religion. This is single opportunity to forget yester years doubt, mending relations and move forward for global goals for attaining distinct climate control goal.

                  Nepal, a mountainous country, blessed by natural diversity, perennial rivers, glaciers, mountains, lakes, proudly hosting tourism as one of major occupation will be in disastrous effect. The changes are already visible as snow clad mountains are fading off, frequent avalanches, snow lake burst off, dry & wet landslide are happening in enormous rate. Likewise, altogether 14 glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).have happened between 1935 & 1991 in Nepal. In total, 21 GLOFs have been identified as being potentially dangerous at present. In this way, CC and livelihoods integral part and have vice versa relationship. The low income & subsistence users are about 38% of total population Nepal lies below the poverty line have hard time to afford for their livelihoods in Nepal. That is a great challenge to cope with climate change induced hazard & extreme events. The livelihoods of more than 80% local people of hilly region are heavily depending on climate sensitive area such as agriculture, forest and livestock and on other natural resources such as water & irrigation.

                 Scientific statements regarding changing climate of Nepal are pronouncedly focused on temperature rise at the rate of 0.06°C per annum. Such a rise in average temperature is variable across the country, being higher in the mountains and Himalaya (0.08°C) as compared to low-lying terai (0.04°C). Climate change scenarios indicate that warming at higher elevations will lead to a reduction in snow and ice coverage, which in turn will lead to an increase in the frequency of climate-related disasters, including floods and droughts, as well as cause changes in precipitation at a regional scale. Changing climate will also likely shift the geographic range of crop pests, weeds, and diseases , as well as plant pathogen life cycles, requiring new crop management strategies . This justifies the strong need of understanding climate change at the regional scale and its relationship with socio-economic and biophysical context in order to develop mitigation and adaptation programs and minimize the risk at farm level in mountain region of Nepal.

Act of silence will lead us nowhere. Even if we speak it wont matter much what is prime issues are action. How much we are able to act bring impacts before its too late. The good story is, we are not being mute spectator of fading history of earth but we are enabling to re-write one. The children are aware, youth are taking action and experts are working for finding optimal solution for checking climate change issues. The clean technologies, which were barely in experimentation few years back are greatly replacing traditional one, reducing carbon emission, providing energy access to urban settlement to rural livelihood. The dependability on fossils fuel have decrease significantly in industrial, automotive, and other sector. People are caring the environment they live in. The organization working in clean energy, environment, developmental works, policy planning are empowering youths, youths in turn are being harbinger of change in country. We not only care but want to see changes happening. Still there are vacuum to fill and bridge to built. The Bagmati clean campaign, Hariyo ban initiative, community forest, rural energy access, micro-hydro development, green entrepreneurship, clean energy like solar, wind, hydropower are few to name best implemented or are in the phase of implementation. The mass awareness campaign is slowly helping us to shape our current generations and change their attitude towards climate change. The individuals are more clear about their roles, responsibilities and action that can help to reduce impacts of climate change.

                       There is still long way to go to reduce impacts of climate change. The right policy, governmental support at national level will not be able to completely solve it, But commitment as well as participation of international community should be towards nation like Nepal where still large population are under poverty who really have to think for next day meal. The rural community should be empowered where solution for climate change will not only generate environmental values but also helps in socio-economic generations. The approach should be bottom up and vice versa. The solution should encompass all geographical regions, caste, creed, ethnicity and propel towards greater human, environment relations which has to be win win solution for both. There has to be development of mutual existence, growth and harmony between nature , natural resources and humans.

 

Reference

1. Mool, PK; Bajracharya, SR; Joshi, SP (2001)Inventory of Glaciers, glacial lakes, glacial lake outburst floods monitoring and early warning system in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region, Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal:ICIMOD

2. Dahal, H., Pokhrel, M. and Pandey, B., (2011) National Adaptation Program of Actions to Climate Change: Food Security and Agro-Biodiversity Management in Nepal. Paper presented in Special Information Seminar of CGRFA-13 on Climate Change and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: State of Knowledge, Risks and Opportunities, FAO, Rome, 16 July 2011, Red Room (A-121)

 

3. Gautam, A. K. and Pokhrel, S. (2010) Climate change effects on agricultural crops in Nepal and adaptation measures. Presented in Thematic Working Group (agriculture and food security) meeting, Feb 23rd, 2010, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Photo Source : https://www.living-water.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/earth-globe1.jpg